The Archeoweek 2022: Ötzi summer vacation for kids
This year from August 22 to 26, sixteen children were able to participate in a week of archaeology. The theme this year was flint and all its uses in prehistory, from lighting fires to crafting daggers and weapons.
As always, the starting point of these archaeotechnical experiments was Ötzi the Iceman. Thanks to his fully preserved equipment, we know how he lit fires using flint, pyrite, and tinder fungus (a particular mushroom which grows on trees).
The children carefully examined Ötzi’s arrows and then recreated them using viburnum sapwood branches and flint arrowheads. To make sure the arrows flew well, feathers were fastened to the end of the arrow shaft with nettle fibers. The feathers and arrowhead were glued on with birch tar, a very strong Stone Age glue. To make this glue the children gathered birch bark during a field trip to Virgl/Virgolo above Bolzano.
The highlight of the week was a trip to the Archeoparc in Schnalstal Valley where the children could finally try out their own bow and arrow. A ride in a dugout canoe awaited them at the park. These small boats were also used to transport people and goods in Ötzi’s day.
We would like to thank the following for their cooperation and kind welcome: Maretsch Castle, the Sozialgenossenschaft Montessori coop, and the Schnalstal Valley ArcheoParc.
Photos: © South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology